On August 1, North American carriers WestJet and JetBlue Airways both announced new premium-economy seating initiatives.
Having never previously offered premium-economy-class seating, Canada’s WestJet is introducing longer-seat-pitch seating on every aircraft in its fleet.
The reconfiguration will introduce four rows of extra-legroom seating – 24 seats in all – with 36 inches of pitch and convenience features such as priority boarding, as well as complimentary on-board amenities. The reconfiguration will begin in August and will be completed in December 2012.
As part of this initiative, WestJet will also standardize the seat pitch for the remaining rows on all its aircraft to 31 to 32 inches, bringing its seat pitch in line with North American competitors.
Meanwhile, JetBlue Airways is reconfiguring its Embraer 190 fleet to offer customers two more rows of the carrier’s ‘Even More Space’ premium-economy seats.
For an additional fee, 16 seats – the entire seat rows 1, 12, 13 and 14 – offer customers extra legroom and are now available on all of the airline’s 100-seat Embraer 190 jets.
Rows 1 and 12 on each JetBlue Airways Embraer 190 offer 38 inches of legroom, while rows 13 and 14 offer 39 inches. The carrier’s ‘Even More’ products also include early boarding, early access to overhead bin space and Even More Speed expedited security at select airports.
JetBlue says it continues to provide its customers with the most legroom in economy class of any U.S. airline, plus two-by-two seating for all travelers on the Embraer 190.
On JetBlue’s Airbus A320 aircraft, Even More Space seats with 38 inches of legroom are offered in rows 2 through 5 plus emergency-exit rows 10 and 11.